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  • Posted: 05/21/2013
NCI Cancer Center News

Genetic diversity predicts outcomes in head and neck cancer

A new measure of the heterogeneity – the variety of genetic mutations – of cells within a tumor appears to predict treatment outcomes of patients with the most common type of head and neck cancer.  In the May 20 issue of the journal Cancer, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary describe how their measure was a better predictor of survival than most traditional risk factors in a small group of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.